MA Programme Description


Writing is a full-time, 240-credit, enhanced RCA MA (unlike the standard UK 180-credit MA). It is delivered in a 15-month format, September 2017 – December 2018. Home/EU students can opt to undertake the second part of their studies (the independent project) on a part-time basis (June 2018 – June 2019). This innovative structure has been designed to give students greater flexibility to combine full and part-time modes of study. Please note the part-time option is not available to international students for visa compliance reasons. Further details are available on Tuition Fees and MA Entrance Requirements.

240 credit masters:

  • Unit SOAH: 20 credits
  • College-wide Unit: 20 credits
  • Unit Writing 1 Critical Contexts 40 credits
  • Unit Writing 2 Writing Workshops 1 20 credits
  • Unit Writing 3 Writing Workshops 2 40 credits
  • Unit Writing 4 External Partner project 20 credits
  • Unit Writing 5 Project Design and Research 20 credits
  • Unit Writing 6 Final Major Project 60 credits


The programme makes extensive use of one-to-one and small group tutorials (typically a meeting between a member of the staff team and three students working on the same project). You will be required to have a minimum number of one-to-one tutorials with members of the course team for particular projects - namely, the essay which is attached to Unit 1 Critical Contexts and Unit 6 Final Major Project. This is a requirement because these pieces of work will require a good deal of independence on your part. Regular tutorials provide support as your ideas progress. Often draft texts are discussed in tutorials.

Writing Workshops

Writing workshops are the primary means by which students on the Programme receive feedback on their writing. Typically, a writing workshop commences with a brief and ends with a crit (where writing by all workshop participants is shared, and then read and commented on in a group discussion usually over the course of a full day). In this way, you will develop skills not only as a writer but as an editor and commentator on the work of others. Writing workshops are led by individual members of staff and, occasionally, guest tutors. Writing workshops vary in length (from one day to five weeks)


Seminars are tutor-led classes in which students are asked to reflect on readings, films and other material that they have read or studied in advance. In the latter part of the Programme, you will be asked to lead at least one seminar for which you will have selected the material

which the group will discuss. This experience provides a valuable opportunity to develop and improve communication skills.

Live projects

Working collaboratively and usually with an external partner, students develop a public outcome (an event, publication, etc.) through a process of discussion and practical work. Typically, live projects involve working with a collection or archive and require some introduction to this material and necessary research skills from the staff team and/or external partner.

Work in progress presentations

Longer-term and long-form projects like the final major project or the essay which accompanies unit Writing 1 Critical Contexts also involve 'work in progress' presentations by individual students. These events provide important staging points to ensure that your research and ideas are developing well. They also provide valuable opportunities for students to develop and improve skills in verbal presentation.

This programme description is taken from the 2018/19 Programme Specifications. While we try to ensure that all Programme information is correct, some things may be subject to change and/or outside of our control. 

RCA Ranked World’s Top Art & Design University for Fifth Year

In February, the RCA was named the world’s leading art and design university for the fifth consecutive year.  

The RCA leads the table of 200 of the world’s top universities for the study of art and design in the 2019 QS World University Subject Rankings, ahead of much larger institutions around the globe.


240 credits
15-month programme